Val Kilmer on How Cancer Battle Has Changed Him: 'I Was Too Serious'

While posing for The Hollywood Reporter's Hollywood Legacy issue, Val Kilmer spoke to the magazine about his battle with throat cancer.

With rumors about his cancer battle swirling for the past year, Kilmer has spent a lot of time denying the battle. However, he's recently come clean about his health, saying he's spent the last two years undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.

Not only has he been "healing of cancer," but the 57-year-old actor also told THR that he's learned a lot about himself and his family in the process.

Kilmer's 26-year-old daughter, Mercedes, and 22-year-old son, Jack, also sat in on the interview with Kilmer. Jack said shortly after Kilmer's cancer diagnosis, Mercedes was hit by a car in a scary accident that left her with a scar down her leg. The father and daughter spent time in the same hospital.

"We were in the same hospital at the same time," Mercedes recalls.

Adds Jack, "I was just, you know, miserable, distraught, sitting next to these two."

Kilmer, a Christian Scientist, says his faith helped him get through those ordeals, and he has undergone chemotherapy to combat the disease.

He says his battle with cancer has taught him to not take himself so seriously. "I was too serious," he admits of his movie-star moment. "I'd get upset when things like Oscars and recognition failed to come my way."

However, that doesn't mean he's not ambitious. "I would like to have more Oscars than anybody," he said. "Meryl Streep must feel pretty good, you know? It must feel nice to know that everyone loves her. It's about being loved."

In recent months, Kilmer has been accused of assault by a former actress who auditioned with Kilmer for the movies The Doors.

Caitlin O’Heaney detailed the incident to Buzzfeed News, saying that she is ignoring a non-disclosure agreement because she was inspired by the women who came forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment.

The alleged assault took place in 1989 when O’Heaney, 64, landed an audition for the lead female role in Oliver Stone’s film The Doors. The scene to be read during the audition included a verbal argument, but it did not call for any physical violence. She said that during the audition, Kilmer struck her in the face and knocked her to the ground.

“When I got to the room and Val Kilmer picked me up and shaked me, throwing me down to the floor, Stone just stood there the whole time laughing,” O’Heaney said. “I went down to my car and I cried for about 20 minutes.”

Shortly after the alleged assault, O’Heaney filed a police report for battery with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Risa Bramon Garcia, the film’s casting director, was also in the room when the alleged assault took place and believes that O’Heaney reaction was “blown out of proportion.” She told Buzzfeed that all actresses auditioning for the part were warned that the scene could result in physical contact.

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“It was way blown out of proportion,” she said. “I am not somebody who takes this stuff lightly. I can tell the difference between something that’s abusive and a moment that got carried away … but it was all in the context of the work. [O’Heaney had] a very extreme reaction to a situation that to me was not extreme at all.”

The actress ultimately ended up settling with Stone, Kilmer, and Carolco Pictures for $24,500, but O’Heaney claims that she only received about $8,000 after taxes. She also signed a non-disclosure agreement.